The research on Privacy Tools for Sharing Research Data will drive the creation of new educational materials and modules in Harvard’s ongoing effort to enhance awareness of the opportunities and risks associated with the development of digital culture. Our existing and planned undergraduate, graduate and open-access curricula will immediately incorporate new ideas developed through this grant on how and why the information all around us can be made trustworthy and used for personal and public benefit. The materials will likewise be inserted in the stream of other events, publications, communications and other interactions that have become core to the University’s efforts to disseminate.

As the research in this project informs the development of educational materials in our existing and new courses, we will also continue efforts to reach a wide range of audiences beyond the Harvard campus. In particular, we propose to record, tag, and edit videoed lectures on Data Privacy from a variety of courses and make them public through Harvard’s Open Learning Initiative. The materials will be made available as modules that can be reassembled for use in targeted contexts for specific audiences.

In addition, we will also invest substantial effort in training the next generation of researchers to take a broad, multidisciplinary perspective on data privacy issues. Indeed, undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows will be fully integrated into our research efforts. The co-PIs have extensive experience in supervising junior researchers, including research with undergraduates that has led to publications in first-tier venues. The involvement of researchers at different stages of training will be beneficial to all. For example, Ph.D. students will have the opportunity to supervise two undergraduate projects in the Harvard SEAS REU Site every summer, while having postdoctoral fellows as mentors in addition to the faculty. They will also benefit from many of the same mentoring mechanisms in a separate postdoc mentoring plan. We will make an effort to recruit women and under-represented minorities at all levels, and co-PI Sweeney (a female African-American) can serve as a role model for these students and postdocs.

Harvard University Privacy Tools Project 

A National Science Foundation Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace Project, with support from the Sloan Foundation and Google, Inc.